Punjabi cuisine is known for its Tandoor (wood/charcoal burning brick and stone oven) style of cooking and buttery gravy with extensive vegetarian and meat dishes. Interestingly, in rural Punjab, it is common to have communal tandoors, which are also called Kath tadoors. Punjab is a major producer of wheat, rice and dairy products, and has been their staple food. Kulchas, pranthas, aloo poori, chole and missi roti and saag to name a few authentic Punjabi dishes.
Chawlas2 born in Ludhiana with the influence of foothills of Himalayas during the year 1960 has its uniqueness in maintaining authentic Punjabi cuisine and is known exculusively for the cream chicken mostly famous as Chawlas Chicken(thus the 2 is considered as square), which is historically synonymous. Chawlas2 is a family owned business successfully running under the third generation. Having the recipes passed over to next generations by their ancestors, thankfully, has no alterations made in the process, thus maintaining the authenticity.
Chawlas2 is not just within the limits of Ludhiana, Punjab or India but also all-over the world in the form of franchise over 100 locations. Chawlas2 has made its remakeable presence in Dubai, JLT Cluster M since 2015 and we must thank Mr. Arvinder Gill for that.
The ambiance is crisp, bricky, and simple. I felt nostalgic when I saw round bulbs emitting yellow light, sticking out of steel pipes like how it used to be in villages back in India. Not pushing too hard to bring in Punjab feeling in the ambiance has made the ambiance lighter but the food proves the restaurant’s reverence. The restaurant is decorated with small yet significant things and it all comes from Punjab, giving home-like feel.
Service is fast, polite, prompt and warm. The team is happy to serve and pay attention to your needs, alongside giving expert advice to make the culinary journey memorable. Menu shall certainly not disappoint anybody, vegetarians please pay attention, I said “certainly not disappoint anybody”. Its a delight to see array of dishes available and will for sure need expert advice.
Hubby and I chose to try Salted lassi and Salt fresh lime soda, though the Sweet and salt Fresh lime soda is most recommended drink. Lassi was infused with the freshness of jeera, black salt and coriander, reminded me of my dad’s preparation of Masala chaas during summer.
Mr. Arvinder suggested us to try the veg starter platter, assortment of paneer tikka, veg seekh kebabs, tandoori mushroom tikka, stuffed aloo and tandori gobi. Tandoori gobi because I wanted to try it exclusively and it isn’t added in the usual platter. However, its the kindness of Mr. Gill to have fulfilled my wish.
Meanwhile, we were served complimentary papad that accompanied raw onion strings marinated in traditional masala, mint yogurt chutney and out of the world tastiest tangy tamarind mint chutney.
Everything on the starter platter was outstanding, paneer was succulent, well marinated and perfectly tandoored. Seekh kebabs just melted in our mouth and this went really well with mint yogurt chutney. Tandoori Mushroom tikka was well made bringing the best out of the mushhrooms while stuffed aloos called for drum rolls. Potato shells filled with scooped aloo, paneer, papads, fresh herbs and mild spices coated with white sesame seeds cooked in a traditional oven certainly deserves drum rolls. Tandoori Gobi is my next favorite, weell marinated in the masala and baked in the tandoor is for sure to taste great.
For Mains we were told to try the Tomato Cream Paneer, in-house specialty, a must try here, a vegetarian version of Chawals Cream Chicken, perfect blend of flavors and not at all heavy, tender cubes of paneer, perfect with warm butter rotis or laccha prantha.
The other dish we tried was Channa Masala with Aloo Kulcha, best combo ever..! Channa Masala was oil-free, no overpowering masalas, well cooked chickpeas cooked in thick tomato gravy. I was craving for aloo kulcha for quite sometime and now I know where I can find wonderful Kulchas for next time.
Bendi Kurkuri is a deep fry dish we tried at the Chawas2, (planned to try this already during the winters) was made to crave for more. Okra coated in papad flakes and mild flavor of garam masala, tasted heavenly.
How is it possible to end a punjabi meal without desserts??? My all time favorite gulab jamun was available and I ignored the rest of items on the dessert menu. Warm huge jamuns with a tiny pista inside, soaked well in the sugar syrup is seriously a good way to end a meal. What really touched me was, Mr. Gill warned me that the jamuns are hot and I might burn my mouth if no attention is paid to it. I mean, just see how customers are treated like family..!
Chawlas2 is certainly a go-to punjabi restaurant when with foodie friends and family.
Address: Lake Level, Icon Tower 1, Cluster M, Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT), Dubai
Phone number: 04 5149271
Cuisines: Punjabi, North Indian
Cost: AED 150 for two people (approx)